Amphibious warfare

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Landing ship Rapière

Amphibious warfare is the assault of an objective located on land by a force attacking from ships. It requires landing craft to transport troops to land from the ships which carry them to the area to be assaulted.

An amphibious assault is one of the most difficult military operations; requiring coordination of fires from ships and aircraft, with the perilous task of disembarking from landing craft onto a shore held by the enemy — who are often at a tremendous advantage due to the open spaces found on most beaches.

Arguably the most famous amphibious assault was the D-Day landings on 6 June, 1944 during the Second World War, in which American, British, Canadian and French forces were landed at Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword Beaches.

Famous American amphibious assaults include the Battle of Tarawa, the Inchon Landing, and the Battle of Iwo Jima.

Although the United States Marine Corps are most commonly associated with amphibious assaults, the U.S. Army also conducted many during the Pacific Campaign of World War II.

In the British forces the Royal Marines are usually tasked with amphibious assaults. This was not the case, however, in the First World War when Army units provided most of Britain's contribution to the Allied landings at Gallipoli in 1915. The methods of landing were primitive in comparison to methods employed in the 21st Century. Soldiers were landed via rowing boats and tugs, and during the landings at Helles on 25 April, via the deliberately run aground collier SS River Clyde.

In the Second World War, Army units were again used for amphibious assaults though the Royal Marines and other specialised units were being used more often. Since the end of World War II, the Royal Marines have taken part in many amphibious landings. These include the landings on 6 November during the Suez War and the landings at San Carlos Bay on 21 May during the Falklands War (augmented by the British Army's Parachute Regiment). The most recent amphibious assault by the Royal Marines were the landings on the Al-Faw Peninsula on 20 March, 2003 during the Iraqi War.no:Amfibisk krigføring

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